BELGIUM – Swiss packaging machinery provider Bobst has established a warehouse in Genk, Belgium, as part of a ‘transformation’ of its supply chain network.

Based near Lausanne, Bobst supplies machines for manufacturing packaging and its derivatives from solid board, corrugated board and flexible materials.

The company has developed the logistics hub for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region to improve speed, reliability and efficiency in the component-ordering process.

The warehouse integrates the logistical capabilities of seven of its smaller component warehouses.

It offers digitalization and automation capabilities that aim to allow Bobst to serve customers with speed and efficiency at all times.

The added site will also enable Bobst to ensure next-day shipments for orders placed before 9 pm.

In addition, the facility will enhance transparency by letting customers trace their orders throughout the delivery process, from acknowledgment to arrival.

To improve sustainability, the Genk plant features solar and wind power generation systems, a water recuperation system and green areas.

In the first phase of its transformation process, Bobst will move 52,000 part numbers from Switzerland to Belgium.

The inventory transfer will require a fleet of 160 trucks transporting parts over a period of 11 weeks.

Bobst said that the change in its supply chain represents a ‘radical transformation’ for the company and a ‘leap forward’ in its automation and digitalization.

The company believes that introducing a modern component and product delivery process will help its customers.

Last month, the company received an offer from Swiss investment firm JBF Finance to buy its shares at US$80.91 per share.

In a statement, Bobst said: “The board of directors of Bobst Group, represented by the Committee of Independent Directors, has reviewed the offer, is convinced of the business rationale of the transaction and welcomes the possibility for shareholders to tender their shares at a premium in these uncertain times.

“This offer will give the company the appropriate conditions to deploy a long-term strategy, to execute its digital transformation, and to maintain its strong Swiss industrial activities.”

When completed, the company will be delisted from the SIX Swiss Exchange in a privatization move that will allow the company to focus on long-term and sustainable growth.

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